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EmPower Survivors

On Thursday, April 30th, 2020

Even though we cannot come together in person to raise much-needed funds at the EmPower Luncheon, we can still EmPower Survivors from home by making an online donation and with other online actions to show solidarity and support, which is now more important than ever.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), an opportunity to raise public awareness about sexual violence, including assault, abuse, and trafficking. Building awareness leads to prevention and, ultimately, change.

You can learn more about the history of SAAM on our new podcast.

Thank you to WaterStone Bank for their support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the mission of The Women’s Center.

During this time of heightened uncertainty, it’s important that we raise awareness of the many ways violence is in homes: domestic abuse, sexual violence and child abuse. Because of Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order, the children and adults experiencing abuse at home are at increased risk of danger while isolated with their abuser.

The Women’s Center continues to support survivors whose home is not safe through our 24–Hour Hotline, emergency shelter, and over–the–phone counseling and advocacy services.

You can help us EmPower Survivors with an online donation now, which will provide safety, shelter, and support to all who need it. Give now through midnight on Denim Day, Wednesday, April 29, and be entered to win the $500 Amazon gift card initially intended for the raffle at our EmPower Luncheon!

Our luncheon raises over $30,000 in one day that directly benefits our life-saving and life-changing programs and services. Consider donating the cost of a ticket – $85 – to help ensure our services remain available as a critical lifeline to survivors isolated with their abusers at home.

Gifts of any amount, from $5 to $5,000, will help meet our goal of $15,000 before April 29. Thank you for your continued partnership and dedication to our mission.



Denim Day is Wednesday, April 29:
Participate in Denim Day on Wednesday, April 29 by wearing jeans and posting a photo on social media.

Learn more about the history of Denim Day at the bottom of this page.

Use these sample social media posts on your own Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn page:

  • Today is #DenimDay. I stand with survivors. #SAAM #EmPower Survivors #YourVoiceHasPower
  • I am proud to stand with survivors of sexual assault and The Women’s Center on #DenimDay. Together, we can: Build awareness. Promote prevention. Inspire change. #SAAM #EmPowerSurvivors #YourVoiceHasPower
  • Today is Denim Day, a day to wear jeans with a purpose and in protest. There is no excuse and never an invitation to harass, abuse, assault, or rape. #SAAM #EmPowerSurvivors #DenimDay
  • For many, #SaferAtHome means safer at The Women’s Center. They continue to support clients with tele-advocacy, their shelter is still open, and their 24 Hour-Hotline is always available at 262.542.3828. Free and confidential services continue to be accessible to all who need them! #EmpowerSurvivors

Here are some other resources and ways to show your support:

  • Follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram for sharable images and post – check out some sample posts below you can use on your own page.  
  • Provide items from our Amazon wish list
  • Learn how you can support a survivor that discloses their experience to you – always start by believing them, and here are some other phrases to show you care.
  • Watch ACTUALLY, a two-person play about consent and sexual assault set on a college campus produced by our partner, Renaissance Theaterworks. While the show is not being presented live on stage as planned, it is available to stream online for $15 now through April 30 here.

Spice it up with images – here are some graphics for your use on Instagram and any other social media outlet:

Together, we can ensure anyone who needs a safe place to be, support, or advocacy knows we are here and always available, even in the midst of this global crisis.

Thank You To Our Sponsors!

Platinum Sponsors:

Gold Sponsors:

Silver Sponsors:
American Transmission Co.
Theresa Barry & Aly El-Ghatit
First Business Bank
Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin
GE Healthcare
Alison & Dan Holub
Oberlin Filter Company

Bronze Sponsors:
88Nine Radio Milwaukee
Allcon, LLC
American PrintPak Inc
Bader Rutter
Arthur & Susan Blazek
Catholic Financial Life
First Bank Financial Centre
Allan and Mary Ellen Froehlich
Greater Milwaukee Foundation
Alison & Dan Holub
Alan Johnson
Julia Kellogg at Keller Williams Realty
Marie F. Kingsbury
Landmark Credit Union
M3 Insurance
Modern Woodman
Rose & deJong, S.C.
Shorewest Realtors Brookfield/Waukesha Office
TEMPO Waukesha
von Briesen & Roper, S.C.
Wells Fargo Advisors
We Energies Foundation
Wintrust Commercial Banking at Town Bank
Wisconsin Center District
Sharon Wood
Zimmerman Architectural Studios

The history behind Denim Day:
An 18-year old girl is picked up by her married 45-year old driving instructor for her very first lesson. He takes her to an isolated road, pulls her out of the car, wrestles her out of one leg of her jeans and forcefully rapes her. Threatened with death if she tells anyone, he makes her drive the car home. Later that night she tells her parents, and they help and support her to press charges. The perpetrator is arrested and prosecuted. He is convicted of rape and sentenced to jail.

He appeals the sentence. The case makes it all the way to the Italian Supreme Court. Within a matter of days the case against the driving instructor is overturned, dismissed, and the perpetrator released. In a statement by the Chief Judge, he argued, “because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex.”

Enraged by the verdict, within a matter of hours the women in the Italian Parliament launched into immediate action and protested by wearing jeans to work. This call to action motivated and emboldened the California Senate and Assembly to do the same, which in turn spread to Patricia Giggans, Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, and Denim Day in LA was born. The first Denim Day in LA was in April 1999, and has continued every year since, developing into an international movement.